Saturday, July 13, 2013

Looking For Love Blog Tour: Top 5 List with Molly Cannon & Erin Kern

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Welcome Molly and Erin to Stitch Read Cook!

Today my special guests are going to share with everyone the 5 best pieces of advice they’ve been given by other authors. 

Molly

Molly lives a charmed life in Texas with her husband, Mr. Wonderful and her extremely large cat Nelson. When she's not writing, she spends her days reading, taking dance classes with MW, and watching every kind of sporting event imaginable. Molly has three grown children, all married to terrific people and two wonderful grandchildren. Life is good!

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Best Advice I’ve gotten from other writers.

To treat the work seriously while not taking myself too seriously.

To read what I’ve written out loud to hear the rhythm of the dialogue.

To trust my own voice and ignore the inner critic –at least on the first draft.

Be willing to kill the little darlings that don’t belong in the story no matter how much I love them.

Have fun and tell a good story!

Here comes trouble...

Etta Green kissed Everson, Texas, goodbye years ago. A big city chef, she intends to return only long enough to settle her beloved grandmother's estate and then hightail it back to Chicago. But Grammy Hazel had other plans. In her will, she left Etta part-ownership of a B&B that's about to go bankrupt before it even opens. And what's worse--Etta's partner is Donny Joe Ledbetter, a handsome devil with some serious bad boy charm. Growing up, Donny Joe didn't give Etta a second glance. Now, she's got his whole attention.

A far cry from the shy bookworm he once knew, sexy, spirited Etta Green is nothing but trouble. Yet Donny Joe decides to play nice. After all, the quicker they open the B&B, the faster this exasperating--and irresistible--woman will be on her way. Donny Joe has never been a one-woman kind of man. But one crazy little moment of unforgettable desire may change his mind--if he can convince Etta to stay for good...

EXCERPT:

She glanced at Donny Joe. Why was he here again? The will hadn’t said a word about him. She looked at Mr. Starling expectantly.

“You said there were provisions that concerned Donny Joe, Mr. Starling. I don’t understand.”

Mr. Starling cleared his throat again and picked up another file. This one was two inches thick. He opened it carefully and sighed. “As I said, your grandmother’s will was written over three years ago. Since then circumstances have changed.”

“In what way? ” Belle asked, glancing up from her phone.

“Over the last few years your grandmother has struggled some to make ends meet, and to put it simply, the house is no longer hers alone to bequeath.”

Etta scooted forward to the edge of her chair again. “What do you mean? Of course it’s hers. And she would have told me if she was having problems.”

“Well, why don’t you explain, Donny Joe? ”

She turned her head slowly, taking in the tall man sit- ting beside her.

He wasn’t smiling anymore, and he seemed all business now. “Your grandmother approached me about turning her house into a money-making venture to offset some of her expenses. A bed and breakfast, to be exact. You may have noticed some of the renovations that have already taken place.”

Actually she had noticed a few things, but thought her grandmother had gone off on one of her many remodeling kicks. She was always repainting the walls and changing the drapes. “A bed and breakfast? Was this her idea or yours, Mr. Ledbetter? I assume you have some financial interest in this project? That must be the reason you’re here this morning.” Etta jumped to her feet, outrage fueling her words. As far as she was concerned he was the lowest form of dirt—a dirty, low-down, sleazy, cheating scumbag who’d taken advantage of her sweet grandmother’s trust.

Mr. Starling stood up. “Ms. Green, let me assure you that this was your grandmother’s idea, but yes, at this point Donny Joe has made a substantial investment that can’t be recovered if the work isn’t completed. Your grandmother’s greatest fear was that she’d lose the family home altogether, and now with her untimely death everything is up in the air unless you two are willing to follow through with her wishes.”

Etta glanced at Belle, who seemed bored by the whole

proceeding, and then turned back to the two men. “So,” she asked tightly, “what’s the bottom line here? Where does that leave us? ”

“It means Donny Joe is already part owner of your grandmother’s house. And if any of the construction contracts currently in place aren’t honored by you and your sister, he will own it all.”


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Erin

It all started back in 2001 with a Jennifer Crusie novel.  Right away I knew that romance was my calling.  Ever since then I've read every type of romance novel I could get my hands on.  Nothing pleases me more than a sexy hero and a head-strong heroine.  I started writing my first book many years ago and my debut romance, Looking for Trouble, was published in 2010.  I'm constantly thinking up new stories with delicious characters every woman loves to read about.

Some of my inspirations include, but certainly aren't limited to, Rachel Gibson, Cindy Gerard, Lori Foster, Susan Andersen and Linda Howard.

Throughout the past couple of years, I’ve met and interacted with some really awesome and talented writers. Some of whom are seasoned and have sizeable success under their belts. And some were starting out just like me. And they all have their two cents they want to throw in.

How to write a stand-out query letter.

2.  Creating the perfect hook.

3.  When to have the “black moment”

I could go on and on with these tidbits of advice. And they’re all good and helpful in the right moments. But the best piece I was ever given (when I was still green around the ears), was to keep writing. No author spit out a bestseller over-night. Especially on their first try. Many authors go through multiple drafts and multiple books before they get the results they’re looking for: A book contract. Or, even better, a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, which all authors dream of.

And I would be doing my fellow authors a great injustice if I didn’t pass on this key piece of guidance:

Never. Give. Up.

Seriously.

If every author quit after not achieving that coveted success right away, then there would be no books. Countless times, in the past, I’ve wanted to shut my computer down and say, “Enough of this racket. I don’t need the stress.” Then I’d pick myself up and re-write, re-write, re-write. Or start something new. And, sometimes, starting something new is the best way of perfecting our skills.

I wrote my first book back in 2004. And here I am, nine years later with that dream book contract with a top publisher, and an awesome literary agent. But it took nine years of writing, re-writing, submitting and rejections to get where I am.

So, I’ll say it again. Never. Give. Up. Finished with a project? Start something new. Either way, don’t ever stop.

When Noah McDermott, owner of McDermott Construction, walks out into the bright morning sunshine, the last thing he expects is to get run over by a careless woman in a yellow Mercedes. His anger quickly fades into curiosity when the driver turns out to have endless legs and bottomless brown eyes.

Avery Price, daughter of a publishing millionaire, should have followed her instinct and kept driving instead of stopping at a dot on the map. But Trouble, Wyoming is growing on her and she needs a job – fast.

Lately, Noah’s been going through office managers like people go through sticks of gum. He needs someone with a tough backbone to get his office organized. However, he did not want that someone to be the same woman who left her bumper imprint on his backside. As the two of them work together day after day, the sparks fly. Surely they can be professional and keep from acting on their attraction toward one another. As they spend more time together, Noah starts to get the feeling Avery isn’t who she says she is. Is she just a girl looking for a change or is there more going on than she’s telling him?

Avery quickly adapts to her new life in the picturesque town of Trouble. She has a job for the first time in her life and a boss who turns her on more than her ex-fiance ever did. But did she make the right choice by leaving home or is she falling deeper into trouble?

EXCERPT:

“Wait a minute,” he said before she could make a fast getaway with his stuff.

She tossed a cool, expressionless glance over her shoulder. “Yes?”

“You’re not really going to walk out of here without giving me my wallet back, are you?”

“That depends on whether or not you’re willing to hire me.”

He crossed his arms over his chest. “What makes you think I’m looking for help?”

Her deep brown eyes scanned the disorganized surroundings. “Something tells me you could use some help.”

He needed someone so badly he was willing to pay ungodly rates to hire a professional organizer. But her? A person who couldn’t see out of her rearview mirror worth a damn and wouldn’t hand over personal belongings without blackmail? Okay, a very small part of him said, Screw what sort of person she is. You are in dire straits. Plus, she’s hot.

The sensible part of him said, Who cares what she looks like; you don’t even know her.

She must have taken his silence to mean a big, fat no. Miss-I-Look-Down-My-Nose-At-You turned again and almost made it out his door before he grabbed her elbow.

“For hell’s sake, woman. You’re forgetting I memorized your license plate and could easily file a report against you.” Actually, he hadn’t memorized anything. Sometimes threats served a purpose.

Her full, painted pink lips flattened together in frustration. Her chocolate eyes darkened even more.

“Let me see the wallet before I consider giving you a job,” he demanded before she could reply to his threat.

Without a word, she dug her free arm in her duffle-bag sized purse and produced his brown tri-fold.

With a small smile, he snatched the wallet out of her hand. “Thanks,” he said and released her arm.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked when he turned away from her and walked to his desk.

“I hate to leave you hanging, but I have a meeting I’m running late for.” Too bad, so sad, Princess.

She jammed her hands on her thin hips. “You said if I gave you your wallet back, you’d give me a job.”

One corner of his mouth kicked up in triumph when he grabbed the proposal from the printer and jammed it in his bag. “I said I’d consider it.” He glanced at her. “Unfortunately for you, I don’t have time to consider anything right now. But I sure appreciate getting this back.” He held the wallet up before stuffing it in his back pocket.

The muscles in Miss Price’s jaw tensed as her eyes narrowed to slits. Yeah, I outsmarted you, didn’t I? Not bad for an ornery, hung-over jerk, huh?

He touched two fingers to his forehead in a mock salute. “Have a good afternoon, Miss Price.”

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